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Effects of global warming on the world’s oceans. Ashley A. Emerson. Anthropogenic CO 2 in the Ocean. CO 2 solubility. Temperature: more soluble at lower temperatures. Salinity: more soluble in greater salinity. Pressure: more soluble under higher pressure.

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co 2 solubility
CO2 solubility
  • Temperature: more soluble at lower temperatures.
  • Salinity: more soluble in greater salinity.
  • Pressure: more soluble under higher pressure.
carbon dioxide buffering in the ocean
Carbon dioxide buffering in the Ocean
  • CO2 enters ocean via diffusion and rapidly converts to HCO3-
  • Reaction: CO2 + CO3 +H2O  2HCO3-
  • As CO2 in atmosphere rises the strength of ocean carbon uptake will weaken
  • Adding more carbon and keeping it as CO2 makes the ocean more acidic.
dissolved inorganic carbon dic
Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC)
  • CO2 reacts to form other compounds of DIC.
  • If in acidic solution: carbon in CO2 form
  • If in basic solution: carbon mostly in carbonate form
  • Ocean pH ~8 = Carbonate form
ocean acidification
Ocean acidification
  • By end of century, it is predicted that oceans surface-water DIC could decrease over 12%
  • Carbonate ion concentration decrease almost 60%
  • This would result in a pH drop in surface waters of 0.4 pH units
calcium carbonate budget
Calcium carbonate budget

Feely et al. 2004

impacts of anthropogenic co 2 on calcium carbonate
Impacts of anthropogenic CO2 on Calcium Carbonate
  • Aragonite and calcite undersaturation will occur at high latitudes when CO2 values reach 1200 and 1900 µatm
  • And at tropical/subtropical regions when CO2 values reach 1700 and 2800 µatm
  • Profound impacts on calcium carbonate shell-forming organisms
  • Determines pH and balances among forms of DIC
  • The sum of cation charges minus the sum of anion charges
  • Seawater is always positive, excess pos. charge
  • This is balanced by carbonate system  electrical neutrality CO3HCO3- CO2
carbonate pump
Carbonate Pump
  • Organic productivity is also associated with calcium carbonate production.
  • CaCO3 precipitation decreases alkalinity by 2 units (via removal of double-charged Ca++) but the total CO2 by only one unit (removal of CO3-)
  • Due to dominance of alkalinity change, there is a net shift of carbon towards CO2

CO3 -- HCO3- CO2

  • Formation of CaCO3 therefore increases surface water CO2
ocean and atmosphere in the north atlantic
Ocean and atmosphere in the North Atlantic
  • Contribution of biological pump to anthropogenic carbon fluxes is very small everywhere except in high latitudes
  • High latitudes biological pump’s contribution is ~20% of the solubility pump.
  • The rate limiting step of anthropogenic CO2 uptake is ocean circulation and mixing.
other factors to consider
Other Factors to consider
  • Model shows as anthropogenic CO2 increases there will be reduced uptake of CO2 by oceans.
  • Primarily as a result of weakening of collapse of thermohaline circulation
  • El Niño events may be occurring more often as a result of increase anthropogenic CO2